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Manchester, Exhibition of Art Treasures 1857.


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BHM# 2606 WM 42 N. by Pinches of London

The Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester May - Oct 1857

The Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester was opened by Prince Albert on 5 May 1857 and visited by Queen Victoria on 29 June. This was the largest temporary art exhibition ever held in Britain. Its scale was spectacular, consisting of some 16,000 exhibits including 5,000 paintings and drawings, over 1,000 of which were old masters. The objects included not only paintings, watercolours, engravings, drawings, photographs and sculptures, but also tapestries, furniture, ivories, armour, enamels, china, gems and cutlery.

 

The exhibition was staged in a specially constructed Art Treasures Palace at the Old Trafford cricket ground because, a study of the prevailing winds, showed that it was relatively free of pollution (Manchester was an industrial city with a permanent blanket of smoke and smog which the art exhibits had to be protected from). The exhibition Palace extended over more than three acres.

 

The exhibition attracted over 1,300,000 visitors in just over five months between May and October 1857. It was organised by a committee of private citizens, whose aim was to correct the popular impression that the English had no taste for art, and to demonstrate that their collections equalled if not surpassed those of Continental Europe. Seen by more than 1.3 million people over 142 days, the exhibition gave rise to a newspaper, The Art-Treasures Examiner and an Art-Treasures Hotel. The railway company that brought visitors to the exhibition made a profit of £50 000, whereas the exhibition itself yielded just £300.

(ref: The Art-Treasures Examiner: A Pictorial, Critical and Historical Record of the Art-Treasures Exhibition at Manchester in 1857. (The Manchester Examiner and Times, 1857.))

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Beautiful detail, wonderful surfaces.

 

Looks way better in hand, the surfaces are so reflective a lot of what looks like marks are reflections. As most of my collection is old medals, I do not get much practice at ones that are almost proof. Thanks for the comments Bill you pushed me to try again. If you could combine the fields from this new pic with the engraved parts from the original pic it would be closer to how it looks in hand, though still not perfect.

 

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Photoshop. I dropped your light image over the dark image and used the blending sliders to find the proper mix. When I have a prooflike image that is difficult to shoot, I use two forms of axial lighting. In one, I turn the relief areas dark. In the other, I expose the mirror surfaces to brilliant white, then I combine the two. The trick is in not moving the item or the camera so as to make the overlay easy.

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The beauty in being able to do it yourself is that you have the piece in hand and you know what you are trying to depict. A photograph is a representation of what the photographer sees, manipulating light, shadow, perspective, and color to achieve the desired representation. Its obvious from my images that color is not at the absolute top of my perceptive capacities (at least not in the same way most of you perceive color) and I could be much better at manipulating light and shadow, but I've got the basic concepts down. I'm happy to share because I get rewarded with great images from the rest of you. Its kind of a kick being able to build a better image. Congratulations.

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I think your photographs and images are top-notch.

 

I tried layering how you suggested & could not get it as good you did, then I had a brainwave, lassoed the bright central portion I wanted, inverted the selection & cut, then layer that central part over the layer with the field I wanted. Hope that is not cheating, if it is please don't send me to the Principal. I have never tried any picture manipulation before except contrast/colour/sharpen etc.

 

Thanks for inspiring me Bill, it is gentlemen like you who make this forum as good as it is

 

I am eagerly awaiting an aluminum piece to arrive which I am sure you will enjoy, cannot wait to post it.

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I tried layering how you suggested & could not get it as good you did, then I had a brainwave, lassoed the bright central portion I wanted, inverted the selection & cut, then layer that central part over the layer with the field I wanted. Hope that is not cheating, if it is please don't send me to the Principal. I have never tried any picture manipulation before except contrast/colour/sharpen etc.

 

I am eagerly awaiting an aluminum piece to arrive which I am sure you will enjoy, cannot wait to post it.

 

I use a variety of techniques, including what you describe here. I think they are all fair in presenting an image since the intent is to present it at its best (or show the best detail, or show scratches, or whatever the purpose might be). What would not be fair is to modify an image so as to disguise problems or hide problems when you go to sell a coin. We are not selling in these posts, we are enjoying the art and quality of the piece at hand.

 

I'm looking forward to your next post. You have a great taste in medals.

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